When I was in first grade my friend Stephanie was diagnosed with a rare disease. Now, I don’t remember what it was called, but I know that at the time I didn’t realize how serious it was. I remember, though, that she had to undergo bone marrow transplants and that she had more than a few close calls.
She’d missed a lot of school in first grade. If memory serves, we sent her handmade cards to cheer her up and prayed for her during class (I attended a Christian school). I missed her, though. Stephanie was always pure sunshine. She always had a beautiful smile on her face and her dark eyes were kind.
Our teacher told us one day that Stephanie would come for a visit. A brief one, but still, she was coming. We planned a bit of a party. We all looked forward to seeing her.
But as the day neared, we learned that Stephanie might not come after all. That she wasn’t well, not strong enough for the visit. I was so disappointed. I sat at my spot at the work table and asked God to please let Stephanie come. I prayed every day that she’d be all right. And I prayed that she’d be able to be at our party.
That is the first concrete answer to prayer that I remember.
I’ve prayed for Stephanie many, many times since then. God has blessed her life by letting her beat all the odds. She’s doing well, sharing her pure sunshine and beautiful smile with everyone around her.
Stephanie was my first answer to prayer.
I could list for you hundreds and hundreds of answered prayers I’ve experienced since then.
My brother-in-law and his family raising enough money for him to receive a radical treatment for his M.S.
Winning the heart of the man who would become my most excellent husband.
The gentle passing of someone I loved.
When I think over the times when God has answered my prayers and the prayers of others, I am reminded of one very important truth:
And even when those answers are vastly different than I would have expected, I still have reason to be grateful. Because God is el roi. The God who sees me. Who knows me. Who hears and acts in my life and in the lives of others.
My good friend Amelia recently released a book called Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for your Community. As I read through the Scripture verses and the prayer prompts, I was reminded of all the times God has honored my prayers and I was moved to joy and thanksgiving.
I would LOVE to share that joy with one of you. I’m giving away one copy of Pray A to Z. All you have to do to enter this give away is comment below. I’d love for you to share a time when you saw prayer answered in your life. Let’s use this to encourage and lift up one another!
I’ll draw a winner next Monday (12/5/16).
*Please note: This giveaway is only for those living in the continental United States.